Gallinula hodgenorum (Scarlett, 1955:265)

Hodgens' waterhen, New Zealand flightless gallinule, New Zealand native-hen



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonyms: Rallus hodgeni Scarlett, 1955: Rec. Cant. Museum 6: 265 – Pyramid Valley Swamp, Canterbury.; Rallus hodgenorum (Scarlett, 1955:266); Pyramidia [sic] hodgeni (Scarlett); Oliver 1955, New Zealand Birds, 2nd edition: 596.; Pyramida hodgeni Scarlett, 1955:266; Gallirallus hartreei Scarlett, 1970: Notornis 17: 70 – near Napier.; Capellirallus hodgeni (Scarlett); Scarlett 1970, Notornis 17: 71.; Gallinula (Tribonyx) hodgeni (Scarlett); Olson 1975, Nat. Mus. N.Z. Rec. 1: 68.; Gallinula hodgenorum (Scarlett); Olson 1986, Notornis 33: 32 – Emendation.; Gallinula hodgeni (Scarlett); Checklist Committee 1990, Checklist Birds N.Z.: 123.; Tribonyx hodgenorum (Scarlett); Livezey 1998, Phil. Trans. Biol. Sci. (B) 353: 2100.; Gallinula hodgenorum (Scarlett); Checklist Committee 2010, Checklist Birds N.Z.: 187.


Treated under the genus Tribonyx by (Checklist Committee (OSNZ), 2022:60; Miskelly et al., 2022).


Conservation Status


Last record: c.1700 (Cassels et al., 1988)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



North Island & South Island, New Zealand


Biology & Ecology







Above: Hodgens' Waterhen. Gallinula hodgenorum. From the series: Extinct Birds of New Zealand., 2005, Masterton, by Paul Martinson. Purchased 2006. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (2006-0010-1/47)



Original scientific description:

Scarlett, Ron J. (1955). A new rail from South Island swamps In New Zealand. Records Canterbury Mus. 6: 265-266.


Other references:

BirdLife International. (2014). Tribonyx hodgenorum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. ( Downloaded on 26 July 2014.

BirdLife International. 2017. Tribonyx hodgenorum (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T62274163A119207810. Accessed on 02 July 2022.

Boles, Walter E. (2005). A New Flightless Gallinule (Aves: Rallidae: Gallinula) from the Oligo-Miocene of Riversleigh, Northwestern Queensland, Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 57: 179-190. [comparison of Gallinula hodgenorum with the newly described G. disneyi]

Cassels, R. J. S., Jones, K. L., Walton, A. and Worthy, T. H. (1988). Late prehistoric subsistence practices at Parewanui, lower Rangitikei River, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology 10: 109-128.

Checklist Committee (OSNZ). (2010). Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica (4th ed.). Ornithological Society of New Zealand & Te Papa Press, Wellington. [p. 187]

Checklist Committee (OSNZ). (2022). Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand (5th edition). Ornithological Society of New Zealand Occasional Publication No. 1. Wellington: Ornithological Society of New Zealand. [p. 60]

Holdaway, Richard N. and Worthy, Trevor H. (1997). A reappraisal of the late Quaternary fossil vertebrates of Pyramid Valley Swamp, North Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 24: 69-121.

Holdaway, Richard N., Worthy, Trevor H. and Tennyson, Alan J. D. (2001). A working list of breeding bird species of the New Zealand region at first human contact. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 28: 119-187.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser.

Livezey, Bradley C. (1998). A phylogenetic analysis of the Gruiformes (Aves) based on morphological characters, with an emphasis on the rails (Rallidae). Phil.Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 353: 2077-2151.

Mayr, Ernst. (1986). Letter: The correct name of Rallus hodgeni. Notornis 33(4): 268.

Miskelly, Colin M., Forsdick, Natalie J., Gill, Brian J., Palma, Ricardo L., Rawlence, Nicolas J. and Tennyson, Alan J. D. (2022). Amendments to the 2010 Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand Occasional Publication No. 2. Wellington: Ornithological Society of New Zealand.

Olson, Storrs L. (1975). A review of the extinct rails of the New Zealand region (Aves: Rallidae). Records of the National Museum of New Zealand 1(3): 63-79.

Olson, Storrs L. (1976). [Reply to (Scarlett, 1976) in same volume]. Notornis 23(1): 79.

Olson, Storrs L. (1977). A synopsis on the fossil Rallidae. In: Ripley, D. S. Rails of the World: A monograph of the family Rallidae. Boston: Godine.

Olson, Storrs L. (1986). Emendation of the name of the fossil rail Rallus hodgeni Scarlett. Notornis 33(1): 32.

Olson, Storrs L. (1987). More on the name Rallus hodgenorum. Notornis 34(2): 83-84.

Robertson, H. A., Baird, K. A., Elliott, G. P., Hitchmough, R. A., McArthur, N. J., Makan, T. D., Miskelly, Colin M., O’Donnell, C. F. J., Sagar, P. M., Scofield, R. P., Taylor, G. A. and Michel, P. (2021). Conservation status of birds in Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 36. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 43 pp.

Hugh Robertson, John Dowding, Graeme Elliott, Rod Hitchmough, Colin Miskelly, Colin O’Donnell, Ralph Powlesland, Paul Sagar, Paul Scofield, Graeme Taylor. (2013). Conservation status of New Zealand birds, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 4. 22 pp.

Scarlett, Ron J. (1970). A small woodhen from New Zealand. Notornis 17(1): 68-74.

Scarlett, Ron J. (1976). Extinct rails (letter to the editor). Notornis 23(1): 78.

Taylor, B. and van Perlo, B. (1998). Rails; a guide to the rails, crakes, gallinules and coots of the world. Robertsbridge, Sussex: Pica Press.

Tennyson, Alan J. D. and Martinson, Paul. (2006). Extinct Birds of New Zealand. Wellington: Te Papa Press.

Turbott, E. G. (Convener). (1990). Checklist of the birds of New Zealand and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica, 3rd. ed. Auckland, Random Century and the Ornithological Society of New Zealand. 247 pp.

Tyrberg, Tommy. (2009). Holocene avian extinctions, pp. 63-106. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Williams, G. R. (1962). Extinction and the land and freshwater-inhabiting birds of New Zealand. Notornis 10(1): 15-32.

Worthy, Trevor H. (1993). Fossils of Honeycomb Hill. Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. 56 pp.

Worthy, Trevor H. (1998). Quaternary fossil faunas of Otago, South Island, New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 28(3): 421-521. [p. 461]

Worthy, Trevor H. (2000). Two late-Glacial avifaunas from eastern North Island - Te Aute and Wheturau Quarry. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 30(1): 1-26.

Worthy, Trevor H. (2012). Book review: Extinct Birds. Emu 112: 179-180.

Worthy, Trevor H. and Holdaway, Richard N. (1996). Quaternary fossil faunas, overlapping taphonomies, and palaeofaunal reconstruction in North Canterbury, South Island New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 26(3): 275-361.

Worthy, Trevor H. and Holdaway, Richard N. (2000). Terrestrial fossil vertebrate faunas from inland Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand. Part 1. Records of the Canterbury Museum 14: 89-154.

Worthy, Trevor H. and Holdaway, Richard N. (2002). The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric Life of New Zealand. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. xxxiii + 718 pp.

Worthy, Trevor H. and Zhao, J. X. (2006). A late Pleistocene predator-accumulated avifauna from Kids Cave, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand. Alcheringa Special Issue 1: 389-408.

Wragg, Graham M. (1981). The birds of Canterbury: history and present status. A dissertation presented as a requirement for the Diploma in Parks and Recreation (National Parks option). Lincoln College, New Zealand.


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